You Need This: Best Swimming Accessories

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I'm an avid swimmer. My exercise of choice has always been swimming, and yes, I swim even in the winter. I love the flexibility swimming affords and that it doesn't do damage to my joints. Because I've been doing it for so long, I felt like I needed a little bit of a change. I found some incredibly cool accessories that totally upped my swim game and also provided a new physical challenge.

They key to jumping in to any new sport/exercise routine is having the proper gear. My advice on the suit: get something that fits tight. You can test your suit's fit easily: while wearing, grab the straps on your shoulders and stretch up to your ears. You should be able to pull them up with a little effort. If they go up easily, it's too loose. My favorite suit of all time is this one by Finis. There's some style thrown in to the classic "workout" suit as they have pretty crossing lines in the back.

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Check out these zoomers also by Finis. The short fins promote proper kicking and are appropriate for competitors or novices alike. I had never used them in my personal workouts, but now they are a staple in my swim bag.

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I don't listen to a ton of music, but like anyone else who works out, the power of the playlist is strong. Just because you're in the water doesn't mean you have to give that up. My favorite little gadget is this underwater iPod that swimming mama Drew Barrymore turned me on to.It comes with headphones and a case, plus a floating device in case it ever comes off your suit/cap while swimming. The other little splurge? The engraving. I love to personalize my things, but this really made sense in case it ever got lost or confused with someone else's. (At least, that's how I justified it)

Some other things that aren't a bad idea to have on hand are lycra swim caps, a hair primer (I put this one by Pantene on my head before and after a swim) and a cute zippered pouch to carry them in. I love the colorful prints on these bags by baggu and they are my go-to for stashing stuff.

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best gear for swimmers
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